View Full Version : Rich Austin, Bill Seebold WHERE?

12-01-2011, 07:34 PM
Hopefully, Rich or Bill can tell us where this is

Bill Van Steenwyk
12-01-2011, 08:31 PM
I would start the guessing game by saying Fort Buhlow Lake, Pineville, La.

If so, probably an NOA World Championship. Lots of the boats shown used to run there regularly back in the 60's.

12-01-2011, 08:43 PM
I tried to put up this version earlier but the server would not accept it

Original Looper 1
12-01-2011, 09:32 PM

Based on the scenery, the cars in the pits and the boats/trailers, I believe it to be the 1965 NOA Nationals at Alexandria, LA.

At that Nats the champions were:
A Hydro Jerry Waldman
B Hydro Jerry Waldman
C Hydro Jerry Waldman
D Hydro Freddie Goehl
F Hydro John McMullen
X Hydro Billy Seebold

A Runabout Ted May
B Runabout Billy Seebold
C Runabout Freddie Goehl
D Runabout John Woods
F Runabout Dickie Pond



Master Oil Racing Team
12-02-2011, 03:57 PM
Until you put up that second photo Sam, I would have gone with Bill Van and Paul. Those heavily wooded hills don't look right. And none of those guys pitted at the north end. Bill Seebold, Jerry Waldman, Jerry Simison (G86) and Dick Austin always pitted in the center near or at the judges stand.

ADD: maybe you might know the answer Bill Van. I've never been to Creve Cour, but I remember my early NOA days that they hosted a bunch of races, and these are the very midwestern guys that would have showed up. Far left you can see the Leavendusky's pitted with Specks. Phil Howard is close by. That V88 doesn't look like anything I saw in the Brinkman stable, but maybe Bob Murphy? Could that be Creve Coure or should we keep trying. If it's Alex 1965, I want someone to point out the chain link fence next to the road, and something that looks like 165 cutting through between the pits and the hills.

Bill Van Steenwyk
12-02-2011, 06:30 PM

I am pretty sure you are correct that V-88 in the photo is Bob Muphy's equipment. Later on when he called it a day, Todd Brinkman Sr. took over that number also in addition to V-99, but I would have to have someone else give positive ID, as if it is '65, that was three years before I started back racing after about a 10 year layoff. Even though I was not racing at that time (if correct) I would argue strongly for Alex as there is a real familiarity to that scene, especially taken from the lake side of the pits. I seem to remember the hillside parking where the cars are parked, and also the way the water has "sculpted" the very narrow little "beach" area right before the grass begins is also very familiar also, especially as someone who got towed in a lot the first couple of years after I started back remembers.

Too bad the shot does not look just a little more south so we could see if the concession stand and judges stand was visible. Would not be much doubt then if it was there.

I will see if I can get hold of Phil Howard and get his opinion. His health has not been great lately and I don't know how much he has looked at BRF recently.

Perhaps Gene East has an opinion also.

ADD: Creve Couer Lake has broad sandy beaches going to the water.

Master Oil Racing Team
12-02-2011, 07:49 PM
Thanks Bill Van for your recollections. I wasn't there in 1965, as I was just starting and only made one complete heat that year with a stock B Merc in B runabout. If it was indeed the 1965 NOA World Championships at Alex, and the background looked different later...please don't ask Joe Rome for his opinion. He still has a burr up his a$$ about that one. He had to do work at his auto supply company with his Dad Roland that weekend, and it not only the NOA World Championships at Alex he missed...it was also the most boats and most well attended.

I totally agree that in Sam's first pic I would say hands down Alex. Year, I couldn't say, but the pits and the angle up where spectators and racers would park is exact. The hills though look to high and too heavily wooded to me though. But since I wasn't there in the mid and early sixties, things could very well have looked different, I don't see the background being able to be changed that much through logging and throwing up a chain link fence though.

ADD: It's hard to comment about a photo when you have to post, shut down, then go back, but I just did and I say no way on Alex. It had to be a hell of a race with those guys in the pits, and what looked like probably a really good race site.....but not Alex.

Gene East
12-03-2011, 08:09 AM
I agree with Bill that is NOT Creve Couer based on his reference to "sculpting" on the beach. Plus I don't remember Dick Austin ever running at Creve Coeur.

My thoughts were Alex, but Wayne shot that theory down.

In any event, Happy Birthday Wayne!!!!

Gene East
12-03-2011, 08:25 AM
By the way, that's a good shot of Paul Simison (black hat, sunglasses and crank rope) wading through the pits.

He and I talk on line frequently. I probably know him more intimately than most other contributors to this website.

Paul or Jerry either one could tell you why, but I won't.

Paul maintains he wasn't important at the races, just Jerry's little brother. But most of us older guys remember Paul for his photographic work. Some of the best action shots of the sixties reflect Paul Simison's valuable contribution to boat racing!

Wayne Baldwin acknowledges he learned a lot about photography from Paul Simison.

These gentlemen without doubt are two of the finest racing photographers ever to get their feet wet.

Paul still is involved with photography, but now he shoots wildlife rather than boats.

Master Oil Racing Team
12-03-2011, 09:24 AM
I am not even close to being the photographer that Paul is, but thanks for the kind words Gene. And you are right about Paul helping me. I loved photography and Paul set me down the right path at a race at Lakeland in Memphis, Tennessee that Marshall Grant put on. That was in 1970. Later that year, probably at the Nationals in DePue, Paul told me he was going to take several months off to go on a long safari in Africa shooting photos of animals in the wild. This is the first time I ever heard of anyone going on a safari with a camera. Paul was ahead of his time. That was the last time I had seen Paul until Ralph Donalds Old Pharts Reunion two years ago. We took up where we last left off thirty nine years earlier. We had a grand reunion talking about all kinds of stuff. It was great to see him. He does strictly digital now and has scanners, processors, cameras, lenses, etc that cost into the thousands each. The real trick he said to being successful in freelance work is the filing system. Paul acknowledges he doesn't spend the time to really do his to the max. He has a friend who has a system to recall, cross reference, and retrieve hundreds of thousands of his images for magazine, trade publication, ad people etc. who are looking for a certain type of image or style. You have to be able to get to it instantly to make the sale. Paul was as always very interesting and informative to talk to. I know we talked about his old boat racing photos, but he wasn't planning on digging through them any time soon. Maybe some day.:cool:

12-03-2011, 11:04 AM
Wow, I really appreciate all the comments on this picture ... turns out its a more cool pic than I originally knew, regardless of where it was taken

Master Oil Racing Team
12-03-2011, 11:13 AM
I've been looking all morning for some pics I took at the Nationals in Alex in 1983. I was not racing then, and so rode in a pickup boat for part of the time and have shots of the pits from the water. I never filed these, so I don't know where to look, and so far everyplace I try is wrong. But I went back to that second B&W photo and took a closer look.

For one, there was never a building like the one in the top right corner at Alex. Secondly, while the pit area parking up the hill looked correct at first, you will see it levels off at the top near the brush line. At Alex, the parking continues up at a slight slope all the way up to the chain link fence near Highway 165, and it goes more than twice as far back as the area in the pic. The thing that I notice most though is the hills are too close and to high, and the trees are wrong. If you look at a recent satellite photo of the area, there are numerous buildings plus a baseball diamond where the hills would be. They would not shave the hills down to make a baseball field. I am saying it's not Alex, but I don't know where it is. It's also not Granite City, or Gravois Mills, Mo. I'll bet if someone had all the Roostertails, and went through the early to midsixties issues, you would find the answer. Maybe!;):D

12-03-2011, 12:14 PM
Could it be Claude Fox's backyard in Knoxville?

Bill Van Steenwyk
12-03-2011, 02:38 PM
Ralph was one who I thought might know, so hopefully his suggestion might trigger a few memories about Knoxville. I never raced at any site in eastern Tennessee, but I did officiate a Mod Nationals at Soddy Daisy. Don't remember much about the scenery as I was busy on the judges stand all day during that week, but maybe that is a possibility also.

It surely had to be a site in the south and also one that had a good amount of prestige because of the quality of the drivers visible in the pit picture.

I have contacted Phil Howard and Butch Leavendusky, both of whom are pictured,, so possibly they might have some recollections or input.

Hopefully the picture was not taken too early in the morning as Butch was not usually too sharp before noon after a nite out. He did usually know where he was by 1:00 PM or so though.

Master Oil Racing Team
12-03-2011, 04:08 PM
I raced the North South at Claude's home in 1967, but I seem to remember the embankment being steeper. But, it was on a river, so the level could change. It looks as though it were taken from a tall judges stand, which was the case at Claude's house. I have some transferred 8mm film that has Waldman, Hering, Seebold, Austin and others in it including maybe even Bud Finkl in his laydown boat. If I can find my disc of photos there are several of the NOA North South at Claude's house and even showing the house in one or two photos along with his daughter. It doesn't look quite like this picture, but it could be the angle. I'm not sure that's where the picture was taken, but some of the facts fit.

Bill Van Steenwyk
12-03-2011, 04:40 PM

Rgards your comments about the picture possibly being taken from a judges stand:

The first year I attended a race in Alex at Ft. Buhlow Lake was 1968, and I do not remember the judges stand protruding that far out in the water as is shown in the second picture, IF the picture was taken from the judges stand. Unless the judges stand protruded further out from 68 on, I do not think this picture would have been taken from a judges stand. I remember you could step right onto the stand from the pit bank and if you look at the picture it was taken from a good ways out from the bank, further than the judges stand I am familiar with went out.

I just had a call from Phil Howard, and after looking at the two photos, his vote is Alexandria.
The reason given is primarily two fold:

First the appearance of Bob Murphy's boat, V-88. Phil indicated that he and Murphy went together to make races a good ways from Springfield, and Alex was one of the few they traveled together. Sometimes they went on Murphy's trailer and sometimes Phil's, in the time frame of 1965/1966. Phil's trailer is plainly visible, as is he.

Another reason is the date is clear in Phil's mind, for if you look closely at the photo with him in it, he has his hand. The accident that caused the loss of his hand was in 66, so the photo is prior to that year at least.

He feels sure of the time frame for the above reasons, and is pretty positive about the location, as that is one of the places that he and Murphy trailered together, the others not at all similar in torography.

One more vote for Ft. Buhlow Lake.

Is there any indication where the picture came from? Carl Rylee, the one constant about races at Alex, was always the referee. In addition, he was circulation Mgr. I think ,for the local newspaper. The participants always got a day or so of newspapers after the race in the mail that he was responsible for sending. If the picture you have is on newsprint, perhaps that is one more clue to its possible origin, and then logically the location of the race site.

Butch is going to look at the site later this evening and I will post his thought when he lets me know.

Master Oil Racing Team
12-03-2011, 05:18 PM
Bill Van...the judges stand I was referring to was the one at Claude Fox's house. It was high also, and stuck out a little way into the water, The judges stand at Alex was further out than you remember. The judges went out to it in a little boat some years. But, that is another reason why I don't think it was Alex. If the shot were taken from the judges stand, it would not be anywhere near the north part of the pits. The little cove where you, Phil, and others pitted would be in the foreground.

I could not tell with my eyesight whether or not Phil's hand was damaged or not, but I'm glad he took a look. Waiting to hear your results from Butch. If Sam had not posted the full frame, I would have sworn myself that it was Alex, and I think everyone that has posted so far and anynewcomers would have agreed that it was Alex....over....no story. So I'm glad Sam was able to put up the full frame because it's creating a lot of interest and it makes it fun to try to go back and figure out where this picture came from. No doubt a major race with all the heavyhitters. But....you also have to consider that in the midwest, most of these guys might have shown up at any race. That was what it was like back in those days. Every region had a load of powerhouse racers.

12-03-2011, 06:38 PM
Bill there are no notes whatsoever on this one. Its an 8x10 from Claude Fox's collection that was on eBay several weeks ago. I spent almost $200 to acquire just part of them.

Some are labeled on the front, some on the back, many have nothing at all. Some were press releases from races far away from Fox's home (an original Carl-Eric Zander Crescent World Record set in Sweden is the farthest). The time spans about 1950 to 1980.

I would like to resell many of them, a few I would like to give away to certain people.

Frank Volker
12-04-2011, 09:33 AM
When I first looked at the photo, I thought the year might be 1966, thinking that was the 1st year for the Gen 2 megaphones on the Flatheads. But it could have been '65. The only location that rings a bell is Knoxville,TN (Fort Loudoun Lake).

Frank V.

Bill Van Steenwyk
12-04-2011, 02:31 PM
Talked with Phil again this morning, and indicated that several posters seemed to think that the location was the Knoxville site. His comment was "I don't remember ever racing there, but that is a long time ago, so I can't say for sure." What he is sure about is the time frame, because of his accident.

Butch also called today after viewing the thread and he thinks the Knoxville site is very plausible because of some things he remembers about the "Spec" trailer and the person that owned it, specifically the Wilcher family, also from the Kansas City area. Butch remembers that in this time frame he and Stan Sr. had not started to run Flatheads yet, and the Wilcher's loaned him their "D" Flathead to run on his runabout.. They thrashed about half a day to get it setup and then put it in the water. It was running VERY out of shape and Butch said his DAD ran out on a long high dock and started waving his arms to get him slowed down and back in the pits so the setup could be changed so he would not bust his butt. Although he, like Phil, cannot remember the exact site this all took place, he would not argue with the Knoxville site.

One other thing Butch pointed out which I missed completely, maybe along with others who have commented, is the fact that there are NO KONIGS visible on any of the boats shown, at least I can't find any, as he noted. That would also fit with the 65 time frame as the rotary valve did not make its appearance until after that I think, and prior to that the 4 carb was the standard 4 cyl konig and was not dominant as the rotary valve became. Butch also thinks 65 is the right year.

i have some CD's that Bill Hosler made from some scrapbooks that were the property of Claude Fox. Perhaps I can get a little time to look thru them and see if there are any scenes that are similar to this that specifically state the location as the lake in Knoxville. Or perhaps someone could get a member of the Pugh family to look at them and that might answer the question also.

12-04-2011, 06:12 PM
If it came from Claude's collection, it probably is Knoxville. I notice the rebel flag which could mean the North- South race Claude had every year. However most of the drivers in the picture are yankees.

12-04-2011, 06:14 PM
There are pictures from many different locations in the group that I purchased

R Austin
12-05-2011, 01:30 PM
That is John McMullens M 14 Hustler. He ran that boat in 1967. That was the first year for that baot and motor combination. My looper had gernaded and I missed that the last part of 67. He blew the boat over backwards a Knoxville and I believe that was is in 67. He did not run the the boat after that. He won the 1967 NOA F Hydro championship. I do not the know the date of that event. This pic would have to be after the date. The NOA National were in Mineapolis in 68. I was there and John was not. I say 1967 Knoxville.

R Austin
12-05-2011, 02:04 PM
Refer to the pics that I posted in the How Fast will A Quincy 6 go. That pic is of John just before he blew over. The lay of the land looks like your pic. Which by the way I bid on. The first 6 looper was not made until Spring of 1966 for John, which he ran on the 15' Jones. It did not run well because of the standard merc battery ignition. In 1967 he replaced the boat with another 13' and moved the looper. The 2nd race of the year we faced each other with the same setups. That was a race. I dont remember anyone else running or they just got out of the way and watched. Side by side the first lap. John on the inside. Last lap John over shoot the last corner and I got inside and beat him by a boat lenght. 2nd lap we both broke center reed cages. They may not be fast by todays standards but the noise, roostertails, and flying got everybodys attention.

Master Oil Racing Team
12-05-2011, 06:28 PM
It was a very impressive show in those days Richard. Thanks much for adding to this thread. When I got to be experienced enough to be competitive a four cylinder Konig OE was low center of gravity, and boats had evolved to the point they could get in and out of the turn quicker. I did just what you did with John. Hang on the hammer all the way down the straight, then shut it completely down, then turn inside. It was a fun manuever.

The point I want to stress though is much more poignant after reading your post. I did not know that the first Quincy 6 cylinder loopers appeared in 1966. I guess the information was out there before, but I never picked up on it. The very first one I can remember seeing was at Knoxville in 1967. It was very impressive. Must have been John running the very one you described.

Since your post, I have realized that as a newcomer, I happened to come on the scene just as one of the most spectacular racing engines ever produced was in it's prime, and lasted only a few years. Joe Rome, Gene East and I have talked about how sometimes we were busy between heats making repairs, switching motors from hydros to runabouts or vice versa, deciding on a different prop etc. But when the F or X hydros with the six cylinder loopers fired up, everyone stopped and watched. The APBA F Runabouts with the deck riders did the same to the people in the pits.

To me the six cylinder loopers are like the P51 Mustangs of World War II. They only had a short time frame where they were the ultimate fighting machine. Even a very few short years later the jets were way above the P51 capabilities, but to this day the P51's remain one of the favorite aircraft of all time. I was glad that I was there to watch them on the race course.

Gene East
12-05-2011, 08:26 PM
I don't know how many of you know this, but Rich Austin never drove any other class before competing in F-Hydro.

When I introduced Norma to Rich I explained to her what an amazing accomplishment that was. I told her Rich has cajones as big as basketballs.

Those of you who have met Norma know that she is very quite and ladylike.

Looks are deceiving! Norma worked as a surgical tech for over 40 years. She's seen and heard everything. Believe me, she's an example that still water does indeed run deep.

She turned to Rich and said "How do you fit them into that little cockpit".

Good to see you on here Rich. We'd love to hear more from you!

12-08-2011, 06:29 PM
I don't know where that picture was taken but I'd bet that that is not Fort Buhlow Lake at Pineville, LA.